Univision’s carriage dispute with DISH continues to escalate as the network blackout enters its second month and renewal talks between the companies are at an impasse.
Viewers have been unable to watch Univision programming on DISH and Sling TV since June 30.
To appease its customers, DISH has been offering to send its DishLATINO and Sling Latino subscribers free over-the-air antennas in eligible areas so they can see Univision and are offering an automatic $5 credit in August.
Univision was quick to jump on the satellite and OTT operator’s move, arguing “with this announced refund, Dish recognizes what its Hispanic customers already know to be true: without Univision networks and local stations, there is no “DishLATINO” and certainly no “Best of Spanish” on Sling TV. Given that our networks account for 60% of Spanish-language viewing on DishLATINO, their $5 refund is yet another example of Dish drastically undervaluing Univision and Spanish-language programming, as well as disregarding why Latino viewers have paid Dish for its services.”
But DISH, which has 13.1 million subscribers (including Sling TV) questions where Univision is getting its numbers, as it doesn’t even offer that type of audience breakdown.
The carrier contends it is providing replacement content and that DishLATINO offers more than 35 Spanish language news, entertainment and sports channels including Telemundo, ESPN Deportes, Fox Deportes, Azteca and Pasiones.
DISH insists Univision is demanding an excessive increase in retransmission fees, “despite reports showing the programmer lost more than 50 percent of its prime-time viewership in the last seven years,” offering its content free over the air and selling it online at $7.99 a month for Univision Now – a lower price “than what they propose charging DISH.”
Univision, meanwhile, is staying firm on its value proposition and claims it has submitted “a good-faith and meaningful offer,” but that DISH responded with an offer that was essentially the same as the one they previously offered back in June” and says it is “willing to negotiate with Dish at any time and ready to return to their offices this week should they choose to be constructive to the process.”